BJ Miller

palliative care physician

BJ Miller is an American physician, author and speaker.


  • You can always find a shock of beauty or meaning in what life you have left.
  • Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.
  • People think you're Jesus because you've gone through something special. They treat you like you've got special knowledge, or they treat you a little bit like Frankenstein. Of course, those two responses are related. Neither of them is accurate. But that's the kind of vibe you can get — a lot of us who have disabilities know very well.
  • Leaning into the subject of suffering, leaning into the subject of mortality, was directly therapeutic for me. It wasn’t an intellectual interest or a recreational thought...Getting through my day required me to lean into it, and that’s where I just saw all this beauty that comes from it.
  • We make something normal, we call it a problem, we pathologize it, and then we go to war with it. Sometimes that works pretty well, and oftentimes it works not at all. In the case with end of life and death, it's a mix. Medical science and our understanding of health has advanced, and we are able to live longer, and we have pushed back on nature in all sorts of ways that I'm happy for…But the bad news is we just keep orphaning this subject of death, and it becomes less and less familiar and then more and more surprising and gets harder and harder than it needs to be.
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